Book Review – “Everything to Nothing” Geert Buelens (2015)

October 20th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

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Yes. It’s an interesting way of looking at the 1st World War. To be honest though, I would have liked a bit more poetry, and a bit more discussion about the structure and formal effectiveness of that poetry. To be shown just how much of an everyday cultural integer poetry once was is a revelation to me.

Ivan Bilibin (1876 – 1942)

October 12th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

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Book Review – “In Praise of Shadows” Junichiro Tanazaki (1933)

October 6th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

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Yes – short and sweet.

Book Review – “Chernobyl Prayer” Svetlana Alexievich (1997/2013)

September 30th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

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Yes, yes, yes. This is a brilliant book – saddening, maddening and moving.

Book Review – “The Periodic Table” Primo Levi (1975)

September 27th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

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Yes. Simply and modestly written, a really effective concept allows for a variety of short biographical stories to be told – it’s very moving.

Book Review – “Miles – The Autobiography” Miles Davis & Quincy Troupe (1990)

September 27th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

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Yes. Some entertaining stories, mixed in with absolutely zero remorse, abuse of women and some flowery language. A bit repetitive, and maybe not as much insight into his creative process as I’d have liked.

Book Review – “Pig Earth” John Berger (1979)

May 3rd, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

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Yes, most definitely. Great character-driven short stories about French peasants, with poems inbetween. Long live the cocodrille.

Book Review “Hiroshima” John Hersey (1st published 1946)

April 27th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

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Yes. I should have been made to read this at school. The strength of will of some of the (6) people focussed on in the book is astonishing. In addition, below is the original USA programme ‘This is Your Life’ featuring one of those people, Kiyoshi Tanimoto.  At around 15 minutes, just after Tanimoto has described seeing people with their skin hanging off, as a ‘procession of ghosts’, he is introduced to Captain Robert Lewis, with a flourish of harp music and audience applause. Lewis was co-pilot of ‘Enola Gay‘, the plane from which the atomic bomb was dropped onto Hiroshima. Apparently he had been drinking. It’s a bizarre and uncomfortable scene, particularly as the show is interrupted now and then with adverts for Hazel Bishop’s nail polish. Further below is a video from the USAF made in 1946, showing the extent of burn damage to some of the bomb victims.

Book Review – “The Sixth Extinction” Elizabeth Kolbert (2014)

April 20th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

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Yes. Clear and not overly academic. “Right now, in the amazing moment that to us counts as the present, we are deciding, without quite meaning to, which evolutionary pathways will remain open and which will be forever closed.”

Book Review – “The Age of Earthquakes: A Guide to the Extreme Present” Shuman Basar, Douglas Coupland & Hans Ulrich Obrist (2015)

April 7th, 2016 § 2 comments § permalink

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Nah. This is not nearly as clever or ‘radical’ a book as it thinks it is. It took about 20 minutes to read, that’s about 45p a minute and I’ll never read it again. It’s no Ways of Seeing or The Medium is the Massage and the images aren’t even that interesting. Pretty disappointing really, should have just read it in the bookshop.

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